Most optometry practice management systems cover the basics, demographics, scheduling, billing, but shouldn’t you expect more? We expect more from everything else we use, phones, computers, staff, lol. So how do you know if you are getting the most out of your software? I think the key is to look at your daily operations and see what the most time consuming items are. You should also look to see what areas might be slowing down the patient encounter. This is where I would suggest beginning to look for time saving measures. If your software does not have the capability to track these items that should be your first indication that a change might be needed. In working with practices here are some of the areas that we found could be enhanced with a good software partner.
Let’s start at the beginning, scheduling should be fast and efficient, you should be able to easily look for the next open appointment, jump ahead six weeks or even a year if need be. You should also be able to easily reschedule an appointment with drag and drop functionality. These can be huge time savers and make both the staff and the patient happier by reducing wait times. During the patient encounter a flow monitor can tell you how much time a patient is spending at each station. This assists you in finding bottlenecks in the practice so you can make adjustments accordingly. An intuitive system will have billing rules that allow you to auto enter often missed items in billing. Claims being accepted the first time saves valuable time and ensures you receive payment quicker. Reporting is another key component, data is essential to making informed business decisions. Many systems are limited in reporting capabilities and require you to pay for advanced reports. A good system will allow you to run reports on virtually any field in the system easily and at no additional charge.
These are a few things I would suggest looking at to see if your optometry practice management system is meeting the grade. If you are unable to easily perform these functions it might be time for an upgrade. With all of the advancements in technology to keep your practice running smoothly make sure your software is providing you the functionality to keep up. If you are looking for a new system I would add ManagementPlus to your list. They have over 20 years of eye care experience and the software can provide you with everything you need to stay ahead of the game.